What to do if you’ve been involved in a road accident | Western Cape Government

What to do if you’ve been involved in a road accident

Description:

The Road Accident Fund is a state-supported insurance fund that provides cover to all road users in South Africa in the event of a road accident.

Instructions:

Apply to the RAF if you've been in an accidentIf you or a family member have been in a serious motor vehicle accident because one of the drivers was negligent, you may be eligible to claim from the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

The RAF is a publicly accessible fund set up to provide monetary compensation to those who have suffered injuries as a result of an accident on public roads.

This means that even if the driver of the car doesn't have insurance, people injured in the accident (or the loved ones of people killed in the accident) can receive payment from the fund to help pay medical expenses and to compensate for wages they may have lost as a result of the accident.

What is the Road Accident Fund (RAF)?

The RAF provides financial assistance to people injured in road accidents or the dependants of people killed in road accidents caused by negligent driving.

The fund is financed by a fuel levy that's included in the petrol and diesel price.

Who can claim?

  • A person who was injured in the accident (except the driver who caused the accident).
  • Drivers (excluding the driver who caused the accident), passengers and pedestrians involved in the accident.
  • If you were the driver in the accident but are not the owner of the car and the accident was caused by the owner's negligence (for example, if they didn't fix the brakes) and you are injured, then you can claim from the fund.
  • A child, spouse or another person who depended on the income of the person who died in the accident.
  • A close relative of the dead person who paid for the funeral
  • A claimant under the age of 18 years must be assisted by a parent or legal guardian.

When can you not claim from the fund?

  • A person who caused the accident can't claim from the fund. You can only lodge a claim if the accident was caused by someone else's negligent driving.
  • You can't claim if you were the only person and vehicle involved in the accident. The RAF doesn't compensate individuals who are the primary cause of the accident for example if someone who drives off a bridge due to their negligence.

What can you get compensation for?

  • Medical expenses.
  • Funeral expenses.
  • Compensation for pain and suffering.
  • Lost earnings if you were unable to work.
  • Loss of support. Dependents of the main income provider of the household who was killed in the accident as a result of someone else’s negligence can claim loss of support.

How to claim from the Road Accident Fund

You can claim from the Fund yourself or you can get a lawyer to claim for you, but you'll have to pay for their services.

You must claim within 3 years of the date of the accident if you know who caused the accident. If you don't know who the driver or owner of the vehicle was that caused the accident, you need to claim within 2 years.

To claim, you need to complete and sign the appropriate claim form (Form 1 is to be used in respect of claims before 1 August 2008 and RAF 1 from 1 August 2008 onwards).

You will need the following to make a claim

  • The name of the police station where the accident was reported, the case number, a copy of the police report, a charge sheet and a sketch of the accident scene.
  • Receipts, accounts and vouchers to prove medical claims and expenses.
  • A medical report and a letter from your doctor stating the amount you will pay in the future for medical expenses as a result of the accident.
  • A letter from your employer stating the amount you lost as a result of unpaid wages.
  • A written letter that permits the hospital to hand over your medical records to the RAF.
  • A sworn statement and statements from any witnesses to the accident.

Claiming from the Road Accident Fund

You must provide details of the accident to the RAF on a statutory accident report form (RAF 3) together with information of witnesses which the RAF may request.

It’s important to make sure that all the documents are filled in correctly. It’s recommended to make copies of all your documents in case there’s an administration error.

Once you have completed all the necessary forms and accompanying documents, you must submit the documents in hard-copy, faxed documents require the originals to be furnished. Emailed documents won’t be accepted.

If the claim arose after the 31 July 2008 and general damages are claimed, a Serious Injury Assessment Report (RAF 4) must be submitted to the RAF to confirm that the injury sustained is serious.

Once your claim is processed, the legal proceedings will begin, and the evidence will be considered and reviewed by the RAF.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions to the RAF, grouped in their respective categories:


Where do you lodge a claim?

You can lodge your claim and find out more information from the official RAF website, or at the RAF offices in Cape Town:

Seventh Floor, No. 1 Thibault Square, Long Street, Cape Town, 8001
Private Bag X28, Roggebaai, 8012

Tel: 021 408 3300
Fax: 021 419 7417 / 8740
Email: customerservices@raf.co.za

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The content on this page was last updated on 15 January 2021